So I was asked/volunteered to teach a Meal Planning Workshop at an Enrichment activity tonight. While preparing I decided to focus a portion of my workshop on the benefits of meal planning. The number one benefit I thought of is that when you plan meals you are more likely to sit down as a family and eat together. It hit me pretty hard how important it is to do this. It is amazing to me how significant the consequences are of both eating or not eating together.
I am so grateful that I grew up in a family where meal-time was an important time. We all gathered for scripture study and family prayer and then immediately following we all ate dinner together. I think it brought us closer as a family and helped all of us children to stay out of trouble and to succeed in many areas in our lives.
Elder Oaks shares this about eating together as a family, "The number of those who report that their “whole family usually eats dinner together” has declined 33 percent. This is most concerning because the time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.”3 Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children’s smoking, drinking, or using drugs.4 There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents: what your children really want for dinner is you" (“Good, Better, Best,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 104–8).